Amidst the rapid influx of change in my life, I began to find myself becoming more stressed out than I had been for some time, more tired and ultimately, feeling more distant from God.
While I managed to maintain my scheduled daily reading of scripture, and didn’t fail most days to make contact through prayer, I found myself at a loss. Left wondering “where God was” in all that was happening, and feeling slightly more than whelmed with all of it, I kept charging forward; I was determined to get it all ironed out.
Things have been awesome the last week or two.
Work seems to be going much more smoothly, despite the fact that two of my clients have been hospitalized, several refuse to disavow any relationship between their drug use and their circumstances, and at least four have routinely avoided all contact with me. Even just reading that incites some wonder in why I am not currently tearing my hair out from stress; I simply am just not.
I have successfully moved A into my new apartment, which has been an immense blessing, though it is not without its abundance of problems. The dishwasher does not work, the toilet will not flush correctly, the bathtub will not drain, the A/C did not work and I have been waging war on a seemingly endless army of carpenter ants that seem to know of an inordinate number of holes in my home defense. Sound stressful? I have had fun with all of it.
As Katherine and I prepare for our wedding day in less than a year, we now have to consider so many things that have never crossed our minds (or at least, mine); and I don’t mean only the wedding itself, but the life beyond that. We are beginning to see more of each other’s flaws and intricacies, but I have never found it easier to love her and to accept her love.
What, perchance, could have elicited such peace among all of the drastic change and all the stresses, major and minor, that are raging around me? I attribute this to a few minor events.
At some point within the last two weeks, I was so overwhelmed with the responsibilities and chaos of my new position that I could not help but feel the weight of it all and therefore to feel inadequate. I was certain that, at the rate I (felt I) was going, I would fail many of my clients and then get canned. Then it hit me. So what if I crashed, burned and inevitably got fired? Life would carry on. I would find something for which I am better suited. God would provide. This immediately made a difference in my demeanor and the way in which I handled not only my job, but also my relationships and other responsibilities.
Shortly thereafter, I learned a new word which quickly became my current favorite, and which subsequently led me to a new perspective.
Insouciance is defined by our darling Webster as “a casual lack of concern; a relaxed or calm state; a feeling of not worrying about anything.” To those Christian readers out there, does this sound at all familiar?
This is a word which belongs not only in the vocabulary of all who proclaim to walk with Christ, but as a defining feature of our lives. This is a critical component of a healthy Christian faith.
Now, insouciance is not to be confused with apathy or laziness. It is a state of not worrying, which just happens to be a point touched on in the scriptures.
There are several others, but these are some of the most recognizable.
This does not mean for us to ignore our responsibilities or to be unconcerned with the welfare of ourselves or others. It simply means that, rather than worrying our way through every situation and trying to fix them all by ourselves, we ought to maintain our focus on an immensely powerful God who cares about the welfare of all.
We are to fix our eyes on the Author, and maintain the hope that His incredible love and grace allow. We are to yoke ourselves with Christ, allowing Him to carry our burdens with us, thus lifting the weight and power of our worries. This in turn allows us to be far more effective in every aspect of our lives.
This lack of worry, if rooted in Christ, allows a far more clear and true perspective on the things, events and relationships in our lives, and ultimately allows a greater capacity for love and success in all that we do.
Allowing Christ to bear our burdens, practicing a spiritual insouciance; it means no worries, for the rest of our days.
Much Love & Many Blessings,
Brady J. L. Smith